Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is Future of Remote Work – ReadWrite
If you look back into history, there is a singular discovery at certain intervals that have affected human evolution and acted as a catalyst for growth.
In ancient times, it was the fire. And in the 19th century, it was the computer. Since being invented in the 19th century, the computer has earned its place of being the most widely-used technological tool of the 21st century.
From the education sector to the medical field, the technology of the computer has brought incredible innovation and benefited countless. Just as with fire, the computer changed our world forever.
The computer’s functionality has dramatically changed over time – from doing simple mathematical calculations to handling complex operations. Not only this, its form has undergone drastic changes as well. From oversized circuit modules to sleek desktops, computers of today are a perfect example of modern advancements.
Our recent times have again forced the computer to change its form and adapt to a new working norm. It has gone from the needed physical availability to getting accessible remotely via an internet connection.
Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is the Future of Remote Work
Yes, you heard it right – we are talking about VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). VDI is a technology that enables the creation of virtual desktops on the cloud platform.
VDI can be deployed on the office premises. However, it leads to additional IT hassles and costs to the business. Hence, a better solution is to opt for Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).
Introduced back in 2015, DaaS, or “Desktop as a Service” is a virtual desktop service, wherein the service providers deliver applications and virtual desktops remotely over an internet connection. It is the perfect solution for setting up your remote workplace, something which has been steadily becoming popular since the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Let’s have a look at why DaaS is the future of remote work:
Nowadays, most companies still rely on traditional computer systems, which may fulfill the basic organizational duties, but fail when needed remotely. They are simply a ‘plug and work’ model, which requires their physical presence for being used. And even if you provide portable devices such as laptops, they carry a high risk of getting lost or stolen.
How to deal with the problem of enhanced remote work?
To empower your workplace with remote working capabilities, it is essential to enhance your organization’s technical reachability, and yet retain the custom functionality. And this is something that can be easily done by using DaaS.
Desktop as a Solution (DaaS) is a solution that enables your employees to access the virtual desktops remotely via an internet connection.
From using your favorite applications to accessing the files stored in the cloud, you can do everything you wish to.
It is just like accessing your office systems, and the only difference is that you do it over an internet connection. All you need is authorized access and good internet connectivity.
Instead of carrying all those bulky laptops or waiting to get one from your office, your employees can take out their iPad and start working from anywhere, anytime. Simply superb.
Fewer IT Hassles
An organization has to spend a lot of time overcoming technical hurdles while working remotely. Employees find it difficult to contact the IT team to get their problems solved. This also means that minor issues will also take much more time to get fixed.
Add software updates and timely license renewal, and you can see an enterprise getting buried under an enormous IT workload.
All these excess technical duties can slow down your organizational efficiency and impede your remote working plans.
However, when you go for DaaS, you can easily forego these numerous hassles and smoothly transit into your new working regime. In the case of DaaS, it is the service provider who is responsible for handling all the technical workload.
Replacing faulty hardware to software bugs, everything falls under the sphere of DaaS services.
They also conduct regular service audits and ensure your employees are using the latest software package. And even if you experience any occasional lag, they are always available round the clock to fix it and get you going back on track.
Superior Data Security
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, most US firms have been steadily modifying their working environment for the new ‘work from home’ protocol. They formulated new corporate data policies and incorporated the latest technological innovations to adjust to the new normal.
But with only 5% of company folders being adequately protected and 4000 cyber-attacks occurring per day, data security is still a constant point of worry for significant firms. And since remote working means most employees work over the internet, negligence and inadequate data security measures can easily make a company resources a sitting duck for hackers.
DaaS’s superior security measures come into play.
When you are using hosted virtual desktop service from a DaaS provider, they make sure you have a safe working experience.
Since their service is entirely cloud-based, they employ various premium security measures for its protection. Their desktop interfaces are laced with the latest anti-hacking tools and regularly updated to protect your critical data against any illicit access.
For protecting their data servers, they have modern IDPS systems and have qualified experts for timely antivirus scans.
In recent times, the usage of remote services and working from home has increasingly gained public favor. This has greatly enhanced the business growth of those firms that have successfully provided the required services.
However, increased business growth means more resource requirements, impeding a firm’s development if it has limited scalability. It can also cause a firm to lose their credibility if they cannot keep up with growing consumer demands and fail to deliver within the promised deadlines.
When you are using DaaS, you can stop worrying about the increasing resource demand and work in a pressure-free environment.
Employing a DaaS provider enables you to get scalability on call.
Instead of waiting and planning, you can simply get in touch with your DaaS provider and ramp up your resources. They provide ready-to-use desktop solutions with the required software package.
You don’t have to forage around for the required specifications and then spend time installing the latest software. All you have to do is intimate your DaaS provider about your needs, and they will deploy your virtual desktop.
Another hurdle every firm endeavoring to work remotely is the cost-effectiveness of their operations. Working remotely means providing the required applications and laptops for your employees.
Since most of the companies have traditional desktops, procuring the necessary amount of portable devices like laptops means spending a huge portion of their capital, which every firm will avoid. Using DaaS enables you to keep things cost-effective and yet to grow your company’s profits.
As DaaS deploys desktops over the cloud, your employees can use their personal laptops, i-pads, and phones to access the official data and work remotely.
Using all types of devices will encourage the employees to use their own devices, saving companies the cost of providing company-owned laptops. Also, they do not need to worry about data security as your DaaS provider will take care of everything.
DaaS offers a pay-per-use model, allowing you to quickly scale down or up whenever you need it without wasting your financial resources. You don’t have to set up your IT infrastructure and employ a team of IT professionals for its maintenance.
A DaaS provider has its team of IT experts who are well trained and experienced. They are responsible for every technical glitch (like a sudden disk failure) and fix it without any additional costs.
As they cater to different client requirements from multiple industries, their systems comply with all the latest security regulations, eliminating your need to invest for one.
Increased Business Outreach
Do you know what the greatest advantage of working remotely is? No geographical limitations. Working remotely has enabled various firms to widen their business outreach greatly.
With DaaS, employers can easily provide their services to a larger client base and also recruit employees remotely. They can hire employees from a geographical location to assist the clients in that area.
Hiring from the needed geographical location saves them the hassle of working in different shifts (according to their clients’ time zone) or setting up a new office in that geography. And since working remotely means no office space requirements, it has made their operations cost-effective as well.
Investing in DaaS saves your firm from all these hassles and improves your business outreach. Instead of physically providing a desktop to your employees, you can first specify your organizational needs to your DaaS provider for procuring the necessary software specifications.
All you have to do is provide valid authorization credentials to your employees, and they can easily access their office desktops over the Internet. Everything is managed on the cloud by your services provider.
You can avoid shipping the necessary desktop or setting up an agency for facilitating the local business – allowing you to manage everything remotely and efficiently.
With 77% increase in productivity, enhanced productivity has been another reason many firms embrace remote work setup.
And since COVID-19, coupled with the ensuing lockdown restrictions forced multiple firms to either temporarily halt their operations. Many had to go remote to keep themselves running. It’s expected that the future will see more and more people getting remotely employed.
Various factors, such as unhealthy eating habits, improper work-life balance, and a flawed exercising regime, can drastically affect your employees’ performance. Unsound health habits decrease an overall work output.
They may also have to face technical problems like an unprecedented disk failure or a sudden breakdown of their office systems may occur that could impact their productivity while working from home.
Employing DaaS enables you to secure guaranteed data availability for your employees so that they are not obstructed while working.
Most of the DaaS providers ensure the SLA-backed uptime guarantee of their services. They ensure that your system is always online and working in prime condition.
If you have to go offline you want to have available help 24/7/365 for assistance.
24-hour help allows your employees to focus on their work and enhance their productivity. They don’t have to venture out to fix a broken hard drive or wait for the latest update. Everything is automatically managed by your service provider, with minimal obstruction in your employee’s working life.
Although running a business remotely has allowed firms to offset various operational costs like procurement of office stationery, maintenance of the workplace, and other office-related costs, working remotely has its share of costs. You have to ensure device availability for your employees, provide necessary software licenses, and provide remote IT support.
When you have a new set of employees joining your organization, the cycle repeats all over again. Your organization still has to face a considerable tech-load even if you maintain an in-house server, as you need to hire experienced professionals, and they need to work round the clock for its functioning.
Opting for DaaS frees your organization from the constraints of excess tech-load and smoothens your remote mobility.
You don’t need to maintain an in-house server as all the requirements can be fulfilled if you employ a DaaS provider.
With the rising popularity of the BYOD or ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy, your employees will feel more comfortable using their device to access your virtual desktop.
Since your desktop is deployed on the cloud and everything is managed via the internet, you do not need to provide your device or wait for its retrieval when an employee leaves your organization.
There is only one word that can accurately define DaaS, and that is – amazing.
When DaaS was first rolled out in 2015, no one knew it would dramatically impact multiple industries around the world. Now, just over five years later — it is one of the widely sought digital solutions for firms looking to work remotely.
Round-the-clock accessibility, premium data security, flexible scalability, economical pricing, and robust tech support — these are various features that a firm enjoys when they opt for reliable DaaS services.
It is the complete remote solution package with limitless potential for the firms looking to establish their remote work empire. So, whenever you need a perfect desktop solution for acing this ‘remote’ game, make sure you remember the DaaS.
Top Image Credit: shutterstock
A Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Top Crypto Scams
The surge in popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has a dark underbelly. It is spurring the growth of a vast cybercrime industry rife with numerous scams. Cunning wrongdoers are preying on unsuspecting Internet users, hoping to trick them into losing their Bitcoins. In this article, I will shed light on the most common cryptocurrency-related scams, providing tips on staying safe when using crypto.
Some websites may entice you with irresistible crypto offers that seem too good to be true. They promise to multiply your Bitcoin holdings in a short span, like doubling them overnight. However, this is often a classic sign of a Ponzi scheme. Once you part with your Bitcoin, the chances of even recovering your original amount are slim to none.
- Be suspicious of any investment that promises guaranteed returns. Investments always come with risk, and anyone promising a sure profit is likely not being honest.
- Legitimate investments make money through a clear business model. If you cannot understand how an investment makes money, that is a red flag.
- Ponzi schemes are highly dependent on recruiting new members. If you are pressured to bring in more people to make money, it might be a Ponzi scheme. These websites often incorporate referral programs enabling members to earn money by bringing in new customers. If you spot a referral link in URLs, it should raise a red flag. These referral links typically look something like this: superwebsite.com/?ref=9472.
- Before investing, check with your country’s financial regulators to see if the company is registered and if any complaints or actions have been taken against it.
- Do not invest more than you can afford to lose.
Cloud mining is a cryptocurrency mining process that utilizes a remote data center with shared processing power. In essence, cloud mining providers rent out their mining hardware and their computational abilities to clients, who can then mine cryptocurrencies without having to purchase and maintain expensive mining equipment. While the concept itself is excellent and entirely legitimate, fraudsters often launch deceptive schemes. They entice potential investors with lofty promises, only to deliver significantly lower returns than promised if any at all.
- Ensure the website provides clear and transparent information about which mining pool is used and who manages it. This also includes information about their mining facilities, the types of hardware they use, and their mining capacity.
- Check contract details. In a legitimate cloud mining contract, details like the cost of the contract, the amount of processing power you will receive, and other terms should be clearly stated. If these details are not precise, be cautious.
- Seek advice from an independent cloud mining advisor or someone knowledgeable about cryptocurrency mining.
Bogus crypto exchanges
Beware of advertisements promising to sell Bitcoins at bargain prices or with minimal transaction fees. These could be a bait to draw you to a fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange website. Another telltale sign of a scam is the PayPal to BTC exchange ruse. Websites running this scam typically present you with a form asking for your PayPal email and the amount you wish to spend. Following this, a QR code is generated to authenticate the transaction. But, alas, the promised Bitcoins never arrive, and you are left with a compromised PayPal account instead.
- Before using any Bitcoin exchange, do your research. Read reviews from reputable sources and seek opinions from experienced users. You can also check the exchange’s website for information about the company, including how long it has been operating, its physical address, and the names of its team members.
- Many countries require crypto exchanges to be registered and comply with specific regulations. Check if the exchange is compliant with these regulations in your country.
- Be careful not to click on any suspicious links that might be trying to lead you to a fake exchange. Always double-check the URL of the exchange before logging in.
Identifying deceptive Bitcoin wallets can be a bit trickier, as the main purpose of a wallet is to hold crypto, not to trade it or execute BTC smart contracts. This means that these scams are not usually about immediate financial gain. While they may ultimately pilfer your assets, these rogue wallets often first aim to snatch sensitive data.
- Always download wallet software from the official website or a reputable app store. Rogue wallets often disguise themselves as the real thing, but they can only be found in unofficial or unregulated app stores.
- Enable MFA for added security. This requires you to provide two forms of identification, usually a password and a verification code.
- If you are dealing with large amounts of cryptocurrency, consider using a hardware wallet. These are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency offline.
- Ensure your device and any applications you use are kept up to date. This includes the wallet software, your device’s operating system, and any security software.
- If the Bitcoin wallet comes as a downloadable application, it is a good idea to scrutinize it for any potentially harmful code first. Websites such as VirusTotal can be quite useful, as they scan software binaries for recognized threats using multiple antivirus programs at once. If the wallet is open-source, you can check its code on platforms like GitHub. While this may require some technical knowledge, it can provide insight into the wallet’s security and functionality.
- Many crypto wallets provide a way to back up your wallet, often in the form of a seed phrase. You can use this phrase to recover your funds if you lose access to your wallet. Keep this phrase safe and secure.
Good old phishing
Phishing, arguably the most common scam in the digital realm, aims to trick users into visiting a deceptive website masquerading as a well-known and trustworthy service. The malicious email could seemingly come from a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet service you currently use. Cybercriminals typically gather your personal details from numerous past data breaches to use in their phishing emails.
Scammers might also employ online advertisements or dubious SEO tactics to lead you to a counterfeit Bitcoin exchange or wallet when you search for terms like “Buy Bitcoin,” or “Bitcoin exchange,” or “Buy Crypto.” These trapped sites often appear among the top search results.
- As a rule of thumb, avoid clicking on links within emails. A deceptive link might appear authentic at first glance, but it uses multiple redirection steps to ultimately land you on a hacker-controlled site. To avoid this risk, directly type URLs into your browser or use your bookmarked links.
- Also, be sure to treat every email attachment with caution. Hackers often use attachments as a means to distribute malicious software.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited communications. When in doubt, check the email address or phone number and get in touch with the company using the contact details provided on their legitimate website.
On-the-spot crypto trading hazards
As Bitcoin theft reaches beyond the digital sphere, new laws and regulations controlling cryptocurrency trading are emerging globally. In some areas, these changes pose challenges to conventional online buying and selling of Bitcoins. This has spurred a shift in the Bitcoin economy, with traders turning to in-person meetings for transactions.
There have been several incidents highlighting the potential dangers of in-person Bitcoin exchanges. For instance, in India, an entrepreneur fell victim to a robbery while attempting to purchase BTC at an appealingly low price. He arranged a meeting with the alleged sellers at a shopping center, only to be ambushed by them and lose the $50,000 he had brought for the transaction.
- Avoid in-person meetings with strangers for Bitcoin exchanges, especially if you are carrying large amounts of money.
- If in need, conduct transactions in public places like coffee shops or shopping centers. These locations are generally safe as they are often crowded and have surveillance cameras. Inform others of your whereabouts.
- If possible, bring a friend along with you.
- Use reliable peer-to-peer platforms with features like blind escrow.
- Utilize the platform’s reputation and feedback systems to select trustworthy traders and thoroughly clarify all trading specifics using encrypted chat before proceeding with any transactions.
- Ensure the other party shows you the agreed sum of money first before you send any coins.
- Trust your instincts; if something does not feel right, walk away. It is better to miss out on a trade than to risk your safety.
Crypto “pump-and-dump” schemes are a type of manipulation where the price of a cryptocurrency is artificially inflated (pumped) through coordinated buying or spreading of misleading positive news. Once the price has significantly increased, the manipulators sell off their holdings (dump), leading to a rapid price drop. This can result in substantial profits for the scammers but causes significant losses for those who bought in during the pump. These schemes are illegal in many jurisdictions due to their fraudulent nature. However, cryptocurrencies’ decentralized and global nature can make them difficult to prevent.
- Do not rush into investments based on hype or pressure. “Fear of Missing Out” can lead you to rash decisions.
- Spread your investments across different assets. This can reduce the impact of a bad investment.
- Be skeptical of “Get Rich Quick” promises. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Set Stop-Loss Orders. This will limit potential losses if the price of a cryptocurrency suddenly crashes.
Fake airdrops are a common type of cryptocurrency scam where fraudsters promise free coins in an attempt to lure unsuspecting victims. These scams require participants to provide sensitive information like private keys or personal data or make a small payment to “unlock” their supposed reward. However, after fulfilling the conditions, victims receive nothing in return. By creating an illusion of a free giveaway, scammers prey on the desire for easy profits.
- Always confirm the airdrop is from a legitimate and reputable company. Check their official website and social media channels for announcements.
- Legitimate airdrops will never ask for your private keys. Your private key is your most sensitive piece of information. Never share it with anyone.
- Be cautious if an airdrop asks for excessive personal information. Although you might need to provide some data, consider any unreasonable requests as potential red flags.
- It is likely a scam if an airdrop requires you to send cryptocurrency to receive tokens. Legitimate airdrops do not require a purchase.
Cryptojacking is a form of cybercrime where hackers covertly use other people’s computing resources to mine cryptocurrencies. This is often done by infecting a website or an individual’s computer with malicious code. Once the unsuspecting victim visits the compromised website or installs the infected software, their computer’s processing power is harnessed to mine crypto without their knowledge. This can lead to degraded system performance, increased power consumption, and hardware wear and tear. It is a stealthy and unethical way for hackers to profit at the expense of others’ resources and can pose significant cybersecurity risks.
- Use reliable and powerful antivirus software that includes features to detect and block cryptojacking scripts.
- Install browser extensions that can help prevent cryptojacking scripts from running in your browser.
- Regularly monitor your system’s performance. Unusually high CPU usage might indicate a cryptojacking attack.
- Regularly update your operating system and all software, including browsers, as updates often include security patches.
Despite the initial hype surrounding cryptocurrencies subsiding, the industry continues to grow with the emergence of new projects. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and will remain a part of our lives. However, as a relatively new form of currency, the crypto sphere will always attract new scammers. By being aware of popular scams and following the recommended protection measures, you can reduce the potential risks involved in trading cryptocurrencies.
How Can TQM Empower Employees?
In the present day, there are a myriad of challenges that developing enterprises have to contend with in the pursuit of success, not least of which is the ever-changing needs of the modern consumer. Recent years have brought about a tangible shift in customer preferences, as consumers are placing more importance on experiences with brands than ever before.
In such a climate, companies that boast the best product or service are not guaranteed to win over their competition as they once might have been. Rather, to accommodate modern consumers, businesses must create a cohesive and wholly-gratifying modern customer experience for their consumers. That means achieving excellence company-wide and empowering employees to maximize your organization’s value.
This is where Total Quality Management (TQM) can be a genuine game-changer for your business.
What is a TQM?
Total Quality Management is a management approach that embodies a holistic view of business success. With TQM, a business strives to achieve an exceptional level of performance in every facet of its operations, on both a macro and micro scale and aims to reach its goals organically by optimizing processes.
At the heart of the TQM philosophy is a strong concept of quality. Those who embrace this approach view quality as something intrinsic rather than superficial. As such, TQM adopters do not seek to create or even achieve quality but rather to embody it and make it a core part of their companies’ identities.
Due to its scope, TQM encompasses a wide variety of principles that serve to foster excellence at a company, from manufacturing and product testing to marketing, sales, and customer service. By putting measures in place to encourage continuous improvement in every area, companies can improve efficiency and achieve greater ROI on their efforts.
What can TQM do for a business?
TQM can bring a variety of significant benefits to an ambitious, developing enterprise.
One of the primary benefits is operational efficiency. By creating an internal culture of continuous improvement, a company can iterate on its processes to optimize them over time. This eliminates resource wastage and revenue leakage, which improves the overall performance of the business.
Adopting TQM also encourages companies to embrace a data-driven approach to business. This promotes an analytical mentality and more intelligent, informed decision-making at the top level. By garnering actionable insights from data analysis and incorporating them into future planning, companies can devise more comprehensive business strategies that drive growth and yield greater ROI in the long term.
Most importantly, TQM helps to produce a high level of customer satisfaction. Through the creation of an improvement culture and the continuous optimization of processes, it’s possible to exceed customer expectations on a routine basis. This result is immense consumer engagement, a positive brand perception, and increased revenue through repeat business and referrals.
For those who embrace Total Quality Management, the customer is at the top of the totem pole, but is the employees who allow it to stand tall. For the principles of TQM to take root and yield dividends, there must be a high degree of employee involvement at every organizational level. For this reason, employee empowerment is considered one of the core tenets of TQM.
How can TQM affect employees’ experience and productivity?
When implemented effectively, TQM can have a substantial effect on both the experience and productivity of employees. There are three primary reasons for this:
Firstly, TQM helps to create more effective training and development programs for employees. By consciously seeking out the latest training methods and most advanced onboarding technologies, companies can help employees to acquire new skills and achieve optimal proficiency in their roles. This makes them more efficient and increases employee satisfaction due to an elevated sense of competency.
Secondly, TQM creates a culture of innovation. In the pursuit of organization-wide excellence, a company can create an environment in which employees have the bandwidth to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving. This helps to create a more engaged and dynamic workforce that is continually evolving itself.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, TQM instills a sense of responsibility in employees. By creating a workplace that emphasizes excellence in every aspect, businesses place their evolution in the hands of their employees. This trust helps them to understand that their contributions have value, which boosts morale and performance, and encourage active participation in the improvement culture. The result is a more gratifying employee experience and higher levels of productivity.
Total Quality Management has the potential to revolutionize a business’s output as well as how it evolves over time. By continuously striving to enrich the employee experience, companies can empower their staff and imbue them with a sense of responsibility that enables them to drive optimization organization-wide and bring ever-greater value to customers.
To sustain growth and success in the long term, employee empowerment is a must, and TQM is currently unrivaled in this regard.
Making Data Talk: How Marketers can Humanize their Campaigns through Zero- and First-Party Data
Without a comprehensive U.S. consumer privacy law, U.S. state and federal lawmakers have been looking toward Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to serve as inspiration as states begin to introduce data privacy laws in 2022. But this year, roads are being paved. Now on the heels of the E.U. announcing their Digital Markets Act to combat Big Tech’s hold on the world, the U.S. is working to pass the Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act, on top of the already existing state-led legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act. For example, Massachusetts announced its intent to pass Massachusetts Information Privacy and Security Act (MIPSA) in late 2021, a digital-privacy bill that would protect the residents’ safety and privacy, giving them more autonomy over personal information in the digital world. If the bill passes, Massachusetts would be the fourth state joining Colorado, Virginia, and California to enact comprehensive data-privacy legislation.
And with Google announcing a slew of privacy updates following increased privacy concerns with another new cookie replacement and new features on Android devices to limit user tracking, marketers are anxious to see how the data-privacy battle unfolds.
While it may seem like these laws and regulations will limit the personalization capabilities of marketers, zero- and first-party data remain key to humanizing digital interactions and experiences.
Personalizing campaigns through existing data
The first step to creating digital experiences that satisfy the human experience is for companies to get to know their customers. Think about your interpersonal relationships: you take the time to understand your friends and family’s needs and wants, and humanizing digital experiences requires the same effort. Zero-party and first-party data, which customers share voluntarily, or marketers collect through behavioral patterns, can create personalized marketing experiences without sacrificing customer privacy.
By leveraging this customer data, marketers can develop campaigns that inform customers of relevant information such as the closest physical store’s hours, cart reminders, or product suggestions that anticipate customer needs. These tactics improve customer experience by putting the customer first. There’s an important and understood value exchange between consumers and marketers. Consumers willingly give brands information about them and their interests, and marketers leverage it to build a seamless shopping and browsing experience.
Humanizing the digital world through the omnichannel
Digital can also help bridge human connection. For example, if your friend is making a recommendation on a TV show, workout, or pair of jeans, that “social proof” is valuable information that we use as cues in our everyday lives. Digital experiences can achieve the same thing. At a pivotal moment in the consumer journey, companies should show consumers the social proof in the form of ratings and reviews or how many other shoppers are engaging with the product they’re viewing. This connects other people’s behaviors to their own, making the experience feel more personal than transactional.
Zero- and first-party data have been and always will be fundamental components of marketers’ toolkit to create personalized marketing campaigns. As the consumer path to purchase becomes increasingly non-linear, however, brands now must incorporate and prioritize omnichannel strategies to level up the overall experience.
For example, estimates show that consumers now check their phone between 52 and 80 times a day. Consumers use their phones for new product discovery and identifying brick-and-mortar locations for in-store purchasing, creating a heightened need for more seamless omnichannel communication strategies. Consumers don’t shop Brand X in Mobile, Brand X in email, Brand X in Social – they shop Brand X.
Once marketers collect first-party data, they can then leverage the consumer data when focusing on personalizing the omnichannel experience. With 71% using multiple channels to start and complete a single transaction, we’re continuing to experience rapid growth in mobile commerce.
A first-party use case that became very popular during COVID-19 and remains a core tenet of retailers’ strategy is BOPIS and curbside pick-up, i.e., leveraging zip codes to drive consumers to in-store availability (and not just at-home delivery). Similarly, as COVID-19 closed borders and brought long distance travel to a standstill, travel brands were able to leverage first-party data to surface hotel destinations within driving distance (using zip codes).
Lastly, 68% of marketers gained new customers during COVID and loyalty programs became a key trend for many marketers where they can leverage first-party data to communicate the value of their brand and elevate the role of loyalty in their communications with consumers. We expect the importance of loyalty programs to continue growing as retailers begin leveraging their existing troves of data to personalize their marketing.
To provide digital experiences that satisfy and personalize human experiences, the experiences need to be connected regardless of channel. Failure to do so would be akin to texting with your friend about upcoming plans, and then you call them “not knowing” what you’re talking about. The experience can’t be siloed.
Embracing the legal landscape with data
This is uncharted territory for marketers. However, it needs to be recognized that a push towards greater privacy is a good thing for the consumer and the marketer. Brand marketers will have to earn each customer relationship and deliver value. For years, our most successful customers have been personalizing content from zero- and first-party data from data stores like internal APIs, CDPs, and CRMs, solving the content bottleneck to realize the 1:1 personalization that customers have come to expect from the brands they trust.
But the legal landscape on data privacy is just beginning to develop, making many industry experts nervous since data is the fuel marketers live on. However, this is why knowing how to leverage existing customer data to produce valuable business results is so vital. By establishing the right data strategy by leveraging zero- and first-party data, the overall digital experience will improve.
When Apple rolled out its new privacy measures last fall, marketers were signaling the doomsday bells. In Movable Ink’s analysis of iOS 15’s content caching, we found that 45% of consumers use the Apple Mail client. According to Wired, the new caching protocol routes tracking pixels “through a relay that strips out (recipient) data gathering.” Contextual personalization was thrown for a loop after this update.
For marketers trying to navigate the new data-private world, the challenge and opportunity is to devise new modes of data collection through existing zero- and first-party data. Data is something that needs constant attention. How marketers collect and integrate data with other systems and how they measure it should be under constant review and optimization, especially with the fluctuating legal landscape.
The future of marketing has always been data, but now that third-party sources are dwindling and more consumers are fighting for control of their data, it’s time to work smarter. The next two years will be a turning point in how marketers collect data and build personalization campaigns.
Instead of focusing on what brands cannot do with all the new laws coming to fruition, this is an opportunity to evolve what marketers’ can do. Balancing personalization with consumers’ increased demands for more privacy, can–and if dont right, will–ultimately lead to more personalized, scalable campaigns that drive revenue and build better relationships with customers.